Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grabbing the Bully by the Horns

I will try to keep my emotions at a minimum in writing this blog. Right now anger is pounding on the door. So I write in order to head it off.

"I asked him how his day went as I do every day," my good friend said. "I always ask what good  happened and what was not so good. My kids always tell me."

It was an emotion-filled conversation. A topic about which I have strong feeling  was sitting in the car with us.

"I had a message on the phone the next morning from a friend. She asked if Sam was okay."

Sam is the dearest child. He looks at everything much like my Gabby. Life is beautiful and friends are great. Always positive children eager to help, eager to please. He is just a delight. After listening to the call she asked her son what had happened.

They were at recess. One boy began taunting Sam and his friend telling them to kiss each other. A second boy joined the taunting. Soon a crowd of other children surrounded the two second graders. When the little boys refused, the two boys took them to the wall and shoved their faces into it. "Kiss the wall," the first bully said.

The crowd dispersed and the second graders went to the principle along with the two boy. I don't know who finally caught on to the situation. I'm sure the two bullies didn't go voluntarily. The principle suspended the first boy. I don't know what happened to discipline the second child. Their parents were called. Sam's were not.

Where were the playground supervisors who allowed the bullying to get to the point that it reached? Why weren't the little boys parents called immediately to tell them of this horrible episode? Is suspension enough?

When she told me the story, I immediately wanted to go to the school myself. I don't get it. Our schools here are very protective of the children. Who dropped the ball? Each recess has at least three supervisors on the playground.

In thinking about this, I have concluded that the parents of the bullies should have responsibility in this to the point that counseling should be involved for those families. The two bullies did see the school counselor. But we all know that bullying many times is learned in the home. I have not seen the new movie about bullying. Reviews are extremely high. Perhaps it needs to be shown in the schools. Perhaps it should be mandatory for cases such as this for students and parents.

As for Sam, his world of trust has been fractured. I need to add here that the school did not get in touch with his parents. Two days after investigating the incident and allowing the school time to respond, my friend made her visit to the principle. No one had called them. There excuse was that they were dealing with the two culprits. Not good enough.

My friend informed me that she had another long talk with Sam explaining to him that no one has the right to touch him or talk to him in a way that hurts him. He has a right to protect himself and has sources to help him. Had this happened to Gabby, she would have wondered why anyone would treat her in such a mean way. She gives out so much love as does Sam. The believe the best in all.

I guess I cannot keep the emotion out of this writing. During my life, I have felt the sting of betrayal by friends and family. I have scars. As another friend has often said, "Sarcasm is scarcasm". We learn to be more callused as we grow up. What a shame.

We as adults we need to be aware of what we present to children. Criticism, guilt, gossip, bitterness and anger all feed the fire called bullying. The changes we can make may not be earth shattering, but they can affect those around us. We are the opposition of the bullies. 

1 comment:

  1. There is so much evil hate speech at the moment and people seem so quick to judge and to share those judgments with anyone who will listen. We don't always set a good example for the children and this is what happens because of it. I can sure understand why it would stir your emotions.